ISSN No. 1606-7754                   Vol.16 No.2  August 2008

Effect of Nigella Sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of metabolic syndrome
A Najmi, SF Haque, M Naseeruddin, RA Khan
Departments of Pharmacology and Medicine, JN Medical College AMU Aligarh, India

Abstract

Background: The seeds of Nigella sativa plant have been used to promote health and fight disease for centuries especially in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. This plant has been a great focus of research. This clinical study was undertaken to determine the adjuvant effect of Nigella sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of the metabolic syndrome. Methodology: This prospective study was conducted at a tertiary health care centre in North India. After final diagnosis and considering inclusion and exclusion criteria, sixty patients were enrolled in this study. Informed and written consent was taken from all the patients enrolled. Approval from institutional ethical committee was obtained. Patients were divided into two groups of thirty. In group I (standard group) patients were given tablet Atorvastatin 10 mg once a day and tablet Metformin 500 mg twice a day for a period of six weeks. In group II (Nigella sativa) group, patients were given tablet Atorvastatin 10 mg once a day, tablet Metformin 500 mg twice a day and Nigella sativa oil 2.5 ml twice daily for a period of six weeks. Blood sugar, both fasting and postprandial, fasting lipid profile, body mass index, body weight and waist circumference were recorded before and after completion of therapy. Result: The above mentioned methodology was followed and it was found that the difference in percentage improvement in group II was significant with reference to total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and fasting blood glucose (p<0.05). Conclusion: Nigella sativa oil is effective as an add-on therapy in patients with metabolic syndrome. Nigella sativa oil has a significant therapeutic activity in diabetic and dyslipidemic patients.

Key words: Metabolic syndrome, Nigella sativa

Introduction

Although the modern era of what we now call the 'metabolic syndrome' or the 'insulin resistance syndrome' seems to have started less than two decades ago with the description of syndrome X by Reaven1 in the late 1980s, the history of this syndrome is much longer. In particular, a considerable number of scientists, starting as early as almost 90 years ago, have described the very common coexistence of the various components of the syndrome, including hypertension, and gave several names to this clustering. On the other hand, during the past few years several international organizations have tried to form a reference context of what is included under the terms 'metabolic syndrome' and 'insulin resistance syndrome', proposing various 'definitions' for them. As public health epidemics go, metabolic syndrome does not seem to pack the punch of more sharply defined health threats, such as lung cancer or heart disease. However, statistics expose some harsh realities. According to a 2002 report from Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, about 22 % of United State adults have metabolic syndrome. Experts believe that reports based on data collected between 1988 and 1994 underestimate the current number of persons who have metabolic syndrome. It has been estimated that metabolic syndrome will soon overtake cigarette smoking as the primary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.2 Metabolic syndrome is a stronger predictor of risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The seeds of Nigella sativa plant have been used to promote health and fight disease for centuries especially in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In South Asia, it is called Kalonji, its Arabic name is Habat-ul-Sauda and its English name is Black cumin. This plant has been a great focus of research and has several traditional uses and consequently has been extensively studied for its chemical constituents and biological activities. A lot of animal studies have already been done to determine the various activities of Nigella sativa oil on different components of the metabolic syndrome for example blood sugar3 and blood pressure4 but no clinical studies have been done in patients with metabolic syndrome. This clinical study was undertaken to know the adjuvant effect of Nigella sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of the metabolic syndrome.

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